Pennsylvanians May Photograph Public Records Says Open Records Office — The Pennsylvania Office of Open Records, yesterday, Aug. 14, issued a decision — Muenz v. Township of Reserve — which holds that requesters can photograph public records which they asked to inspect.
Under the Right-to-Know Law, agencies cannot charge requesters who wish to use their own equipment, such as a smartphone, to photograph public records which they asked to inspect, the agency ruled.
Just something to know if a clerk gives one grief about being a curious citizen.
Pennsylvania County Fights Open Records Decisions Regarding Elections; Why The Fear? — Robert Mancini of Media filed right-to-know requests last year for public records relating to elections in Delaware County, Pa., which the county rejected.
Mancini wanted to know who installed the software on the voting machines, the date it was it installed, and the hash code of the software installed. He also wanted to know who requested absentee ballots at the county level; email correspondence between the Fort Orange Press of Albany, N.Y., which prints the county’s election ballots, along with the names of those requesting the ballots. He also wanted the number voter lists, a list of those removed from voter list for reasons such as deaths and moving, and the 90-day report on how the money from the election integrity grant received from the county was spent.
Mancini appealed to Pennsylvania’s Office of Open Records which overruled the county and said that Mancini had a right to the info.
After hemming and hawing, the Democrats who run Delco conceded these four and Mancini awaits the documents.
However, the county is appealing these four to Common Pleas Court.
Why the fight? The county’s actions make it impossible not to go “hmmm, what are they hiding?”
Tens of thousands of Delaware County residents believe the elections are rigged here. This is troubling and dangerous.
Yet, there is no innocent explanation for the county’s actions.
Top Donors 2014— Sunlight Foundation which does yeoman’s work showing how our political campaigns and crusades are funded recently distributed a best-of 2015 which included this dissection from April of where the money went in the 2014 election from the “one percent of the one percent”. They hold this category contains 31,976 persons who contributed $1.18 billion.
Sunlight noted that this money skewed slightly to the GOP and conservatives — $553 million verses $505 million to Democrats and liberals. The top donors, however, were overwhelmingly D.
Liberal hedge fund manger Tom Steyer spent $73,884, 467, which is more than the next 17 Republicans combined. A nice chunk of it went to the campaign for Tom Wolf.
The number 2 donor was former New York Mayor Michale Bloomberg who once upon a time was a Republican but has since moved solely into the camp of country-club progressives. He gave $11,042,800 of which $10,527,600 went to the left.
Sunlight is a critic of Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court decision that held that the First Amendment prohibited government interference with political spending by non-profit groups. Much of this money now goes to “super PACs” which are political action committees that don’t make direct contributions to candidates but stick to issues.
Criticism of Citizens United is extremely short-sighted. The Supreme Court got it right. The largest media organization in the world is Philadelphia-based Comcast. It’s “news” outlets are NBC and its spin-offs, which are basically Democrat propaganda machines. The New York Times, despite its fading reputation, is also a partisan mouthpiece. There is no inherent difference between a group of people chipping in to send out mailings and make posters to disseminate information than a New York Times front page story except that the mailings and posters are likely far more honest and accurate.
Evan Mackinder of Sunlight Foundation tells us that his organization has a tool that let’s one experience firsthand the results of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and create poetry that one may tweet to the world.
It can be found here.
Don’t forget to tweet your congressman to let him or her know you want open government.
Pennsylvania Senate Passes Online Disclosure Mandates — In mid-April the state Senate passed bills that would require all political candidates to file campaign finance reports electronically, require state lobbyists to file disclosure reports online, and allow voters to register online.
The bills were introduced by Dominic Pileggi, Joseph Scarnati and Lloyd Smucker respectively, all of whom are Republicans.
That probably explains why not much has been written them in the Philadelphia area but Lancaster Online has an article.
Tsarnaev Welfare Records Protected By Mass — The Democrat-run government of Massachusetts has clamped down on requests to show the extent the Tamerlan and baby brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev — the Boston child (and other) killers were supported by the nation’s taxpayers.
It has been confirmed that the Tsarnevs had electronic benefits transfer cards. The bureaucrats, however, are citing the Islamic terrorists’ “right to privacy” and refusing to answer requests as to whether they were getting Section 8 housing benefits, college assistance, government-paid cellphones, and unemployment compensation.
This nation is run by corrupt, gutless morons.
Daddies don’t name you kid Tamerlan, by the way. It would be like naming him Hitler or Stalin or Che.
The Pennsylvania Senate unanimously passed a bill creating a searchable internet-accessible database of all state and local government funding and spending, along with that of independent state-affiliated agencies such as the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, the Commonwealth Financing Authority, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, the Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System, the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, the State Public School Building Authority, the Pennsylvania Higher Educational Facilities Authority and the State System of Higher Education.
The news was tweeted by Sen Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-9) at 4:10 this afternoon, June 28.
The bill, HB 15, returns to the State House for concurrence.
The bill directs the website, to be called PennWATCH, to be available by Dec. 31, 2012.
The site will include:
The name and address of the Commonwealth agency or other entity receiving funding and the applicable identifier and classification under the vendor identification system
The amount of the funding action or expenditure.
The agency initiating the funding action or expenditure.
The applicable appropriation and the appropriation fiscal year from which the funding action or expenditure is made.
A counter to show the number of times the website is accessed.
The funding source.
The site will also show the total number of individuals employed by each Commonwealth agency as of the 15th day of the previous month, and list by the name, position title and current annual salary for each individual employed by each Commonwealth agency.
Pileggi also tweeted that the Senate passed SB 326, which provides for certification of birth for stillbirths and is now before the Governor for his signature.
Pileggi also tweeted that the Senate unanimously passed SB 995, which provides that all operators of oil and gas wells in the state provide GPS coordinates to the state Department of Environmental Protection and 911 centers.
He noted the Senate is now taking up HB 1485 which is the bill setting the state budget for next year.